Earthquakes

Wondo Hits Winner, Quakes Inch Towards Playoffs

Wondo Hits Winner, Quakes Inch Towards Playoffs

Sept. 15, 2010EARTHQUAKES PAGE

SANTA CLARA Chris Wondolowski nodded home a smartly delivered cross from Arturo Alvarezin the 69th minute to push San Jose past visiting Philadelphia 1-0 onWednesday at Buck Shaw Stadium and closer to the MLS playoffs.The win moves the Earthquakes past Colorado and into possession ofsixth place in the overall league table. San Jose are now eight pointsclear of ninth-place Toronto FC in their bid to earn their first postseason berth since being re-established in 2008.Wondolowskis goal, his ninth of the season, rescued what had been a somewhat lackluster performance for the Quakes, who generated little offense of note in the opening 45 minutes.The scoring play started with Bobby Conveycrossing from the left wing for Eduardo, who fell down without drawinga penalty. But Alvarez recovered the loose ball on the opposite sideand took his time before delivering his first assist of 2010.Diving Philadelphia goalkeeper Brad Knighton, making his second start in place of deposed Chris Seitz, got a couple fingers on Wondolowskis header, but could only push it into the side netting.Of Wondolowskis nine goals on the season, six have beengame-winners, moving him into a tie for the league lead in thatcategory with Los Angeles Edson Buddle.The loss dealt another critical blow to the faint playoff hopes ofexpansion Philadelphia, who almost snatched a point at the death whenan unmarked Shea Salinas ran onto a free kick from Sebastien Le Toux in the 93rd minute. Salinas rip from 12 yards was headed wide, but a deflection off Tim Ward forced Jon Busch to make one final save to secure his second consecutive shutout and fourth in 10 starts.Philadelphia generated the best scoring chances before intermission,both times by laying the ball off for onrushing holding midfielders.But Busch was able to knock away Stefani Miglioranzis 30-yard blast in the 22nd minute, and eventually covered up a 35-yard drive from Andrew Jacobson in the 37th.San Joses most dangerous first-half moment was cut short by refereeSilviu Petrescus whistle, which halted play after Wondolowski wasruled offside in the 42nd minute. Wondolowski, who started up top in a pairing with Designated PlayerGeovanni for the first time, had been honing in on a soft rebound givenup by Knighton, who allowed scads of second-chance opportunities butwent unpunished by a San Jose side surprisingly reluctant to pushforward in search of a go-ahead score.Quakes coach Frank Yallop attempted to inject some urgency into his teams attack with the halftime addition of Eduardo and Alvarez in place of Khari Stephenson who looked limited by his sprained left ankle and Joey Gjertsen.The moves didnt work immediately, but eventually had their effect.Eduardo came up just short of reaching a long, low cross from Conveythat could have led to a clinching goal in the 87th minute. AndKnighton did well to push a dipping free kick from Geovanni over thecrossbar in the 89th.Scoring Summary: SJ -- Chris Wondolowski 9 (Arturo Alvarez 1) 69 Misconduct Summary: PHI -- Andrew Jacobson (caution; Tactical Foul) 20
SJ -- Bobby Convey (caution; Delaying a Restart) 90
SJ -- Arturo Alvarez (caution; Delaying a Restart) 94 Lineups:Philadelphia Union -- Brad Knighton, Sheanon Williams, Danny Califf, Michael Orozco Fiscal, Jordan Harvey, Fred (Danny Mwanga 72), Andrew Jacobson, Stefani Miglioranzi, Justin Mapp (Jack McInerney 74), Sebastien Le Toux, Alejandro Moreno (Shea Salinas 58).Substitutes Not Used: Cristian Arrieta, Kyle Nakazawa, Amobi Okugo, Chris Seitz.San Jose Earthquakes -- Jon Busch, Chris Leitch, Jason Hernandez, Brandon McDonald, Tim Ward, Joey Gjertsen (Arturo Alvarez 46), Sam Cronin, Khari Stephenson (Eduardo 46), Bobby Convey, Geovanni, Chris Wondolowski.Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Burling, Cornell Glen, Ryan Johnson, Brad Ring, Alex Horwath.Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Referee's Assistants: Ian Anderson; Chris Strickland
4th Official: Yader Reyes
Time of Game: 1:54
Weather: Clear and 65 degrees

Quakes crushed in Vancouver, eliminated from MLS Cup Playoffs

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Quakes crushed in Vancouver, eliminated from MLS Cup Playoffs

BOX SCORE

The San Jose Earthquakes' season is over, after the Vancouver Whitecaps beat San Jose 5-0 in the knockout round of the MLS Cup Playoffs on Tuesday night. 

Fredy Montero opened the scoring for the Whitecaps in the 33rd minute. In the second half, Cristian Tecera and Kendall Watson scored seven minutes apart and all but sealed the hosts' first-ever playoff win. Second half substitute Nicolas Mezquida scored a brace for good measure, with two goals in 78th and 80th minute. 

Earthquakes captain Chris Wondolowski was held off of the scoresheet for his fourth consecutive playoff game. The 34-year-old scored one goal in six career postseason appearances. 

Tuesday marked San Jose's first postseason appearance since 2012. The Earthquakes have not advanced past the quarterfinals of the MLS Cup Playoffs since 2010.

Earthquakes come into MLS Playoffs as clear underdogs in Vancouver

Earthquakes come into MLS Playoffs as clear underdogs in Vancouver

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Carl Robinson was talking about the need to rely on key veterans in a playoff game.

And then the Vancouver coach all but confirmed that he will replace two long-time standouts on Wednesday in the Whitecaps' Major League Soccer knockout-round playoff game against the San Jose Earthquakes.

One -- left fullback Jordan Harvey, the longest-serving Whitecap -- definitely will not start. Instead, Marcel de Jong, who has been deployed mainly as a utility player on the back line and in midfield, will get the call.

"Marcel has played very well for the last three games he's played, and so has Jordan, but for this matchup, Marcel will play," Robinson said after a practice Tuesday at the club's University of British Columbia training facility.

Harvey, a 33-year-old Mission Viejo, Calif., native, has rarely taken a night off since joining the Whitecaps in a trade from Philadelphia in Vancouver's inaugural MLS season in 2011.

De Jong, a 31-year-old Newmarket, Ontario, native who plays internationally for Canada, got into only 13 games during the regular season and just seven in 2016 after joining the club in midseason from Ottawa of the second-tier North American Soccer League.

Meanwhile, Stefan Marinovic, a 24-year-old New Zealand international, is expected to start in goal as David Ousted, a 31-year-old Dane who has been the team's heavily used starter since his arrival in mid-2013, watches for the fourth time in the past five games.

Marinovic has a modest 2-2-1 record with one shutout.

"It's no gamble at all," Robinson said of changing goalies. "Stef's a top-class goalkeeper. We know that.

"I'm a very lucky manager in this league in that I've got two very good goalkeepers. Stef's come in and, in the games he's played, he's been exceptional. I need him to make saves at big times. (Ousted) has done that throughout the first two-thirds of the season. Stef has now taken charge."

The Wednesday contest marks the time for the Whitecaps to take charge of their postseason fortunes after they squandered a chance to finish first in the Western Conference and dropped to third thanks to a draw with the Earthquakes two weeks ago and a loss to the Portland Timbers last weekend.

Vancouver (15-12-7) has never won a playoff game in its MLS existence.

The winner of Wednesday's contest will play a two-game, total-goals series against either first-place Portland or the second-place Seattle Sounders.

The Earthquakes, who grabbed the sixth and final playoff berth in the West with a 13-14-7 mark, are clear underdogs. However, Vancouver captain Kendall Waston downplayed the apparent pressure on his team, which was a modest 1-3-1 in its last five regular-season games.

"Pressure, for me, is (not having) money to go buy milk for my son," Waston said. "This is trying to be (as) responsible as we can. We have to look at this match as the others, but the thing is, if we lose, we have to go home -- and we (don't) want to go home."

Vancouver's top scorer, Fredy Montero, said he is ready to play a full game after being used as a substitute in Portland due to a minor injury.

Meanwhile, the Earthquakes will try to continue to rebound from a 6-6-5 start that cost former coach Dominic Kinnear his job. Replacement Chris Leitch saw the team endure some fits and starts, but the Earthquakes managed to get into the playoffs after Marco Urena, a teammate of Waston on Costa Rica's national team, scored the last-minute winner over Minnesota United last weekend.

"I always shine in these important moments," Urena said afterward. "God chose me (for such times.)"

The Earthquakes might need some divine intervention after allowing 21 more goals than they scored during the regular season. Even so, they have one of the all-time best MLS players in Chris Wondolowski, who assisted on the winner and also scored last weekend, earning MLS player of the week honors.

"Legitimately one of the hardest things I had to do in my life," Wondolowski, who loves to shoot, said about passing on the winning goal.

Wondolowski, who is tied for second on the MLS all-time scoring list with Jeff Cunningham at 134 goals, said it has been a "look-in-the mirror-and-see-what-you're-made-of season," for the Quakes, who made several midseason roster changes.